Skip to main content

Full text of "A complete course in dressmaking, (Vol. 2, Aprons and House Dresses)"

See other formats

T T 


•C 7$ 

Cow^e in 

Lesson II 


The f it, h an g and 
making of attractive 
house dresses explain¬ 
ed. Methods of cutting 
economically. Trim¬ 
mings that are easy 
to make and a little 
chat that will help you 
to select and combine 
materials for a well 
turned out garment. 











j-. ° i q V J j 



COPYRIGHT, 1 92 1, 1922, BY 


Entered at Stationers’ Hall 

© Cl A 0!) 0 9 0 <1 si 2 


M - 4 '23 



Now that you have learned in Lesson I to 
stitch, make seams and hand sew, you will 
want to put this knowledge to practical use in 
making charming and dainty things for your¬ 
self and others. 

Greater enjoyment and quicker progress 
will be made by selecting the more simple 
garments for the first steps. The making of 
an apron, the most simple of all, may be the 
forerunner of an infinite number of successful 
achievements in making pretty things. 

However, do not feel that you are only 
learning how to make the aprons illustrated, 
but realize that these designs have been care¬ 
fully selected and planned to demonstrate the 
different methods which can also be used in 
constructing patterns and making children’s 
clothes, ladies’ dresses, undergarments and 



This practice in Lesson II will serve to train 
your eye in the selection of charming and be¬ 
coming combinations of materials and colors as 
well as training in pattern making , planning the 
layout or cutting of the material . Also it will 
give skill to the hands in the various forms of 
sewingy including the folding of bias bands 
and applying of other finishing edges . 

After this lesson is thoroughly understood 
you will be able to copy any apron you see. 
Many a tempting but expensive idea in some 
specialty shop may be carried home in the 
mind’s eye, and with some delightful novelty 
goods from that mine of treasures, the rem¬ 
nant counter, a thing of beauty will be evolved 
at little actual cost. 

There is an almost unlimited range of ma¬ 
terial for these captivating necessities, house 
dresses and aprons—from unbleached muslin 
through the calicos, percales, ginghams, seer¬ 
suckers, chambrays to the art prints, chintzes 
and sateens. Or for midsummer the always 
attractive dotted and crossbarred swiss, mus¬ 
lin and organdie make the most bewitching 
affairs. And after all, since the homekeeper 
wears aprons so much, they should add a dis¬ 
tinctive charm to her appearance rather than 
just be dully useful. 


Much of the charm lies in the selection of 
the material, although the combinations of 
trimming may add greatly to the prettiness. 
The substantial gingham which wears so well 
has returned to popularity in all the cheeriness 
of the red, green and yellow checked with 
white. The checks which are used for the 
body of the garment, as well as for bias edges 
and bands, are considered in better style just 
now than the Scotch plaids, which must be 
selected with infinite care. 

The checks lend themselves to the use of 
cross-stitching in the same or contrasting 
colors or black. Black always tends to bring 
out the value of other colors and for that rea¬ 
son it decorates almost everything at the pre¬ 
sent moment. 

Aside from the checks, where embroidery 
or fancy stitches are to be used, a plain ma¬ 
terial is a wiser choice, and featherstitching or 
outlining in color will show up to far greater 
advantage. You will find many pretty fancy 
stitches described in Lesson IX. 

Sateens and the art prints are more for 
afternoon use, to slip on when preparing 
afternoon tea, serving dinner or when there is 
a moment for the stocking mending whose 
lint will cling to the woolen frock or suit. 



Indeed, the apron habit saves many brushings 
as well as spots and by its use the few 
minutes of waiting between things may be 
well employed without disarranging one’s trig 

There are styles of aprons appropriate for 
any and all occasions and make most en¬ 
chanting and much appreciated gifts. Many 
a young bride in her new environment daily 
blesses the friends who gave her bungalow 
aprons for the morning, slip-on aprons for odd 
moments, big comfortable aprons to save the 
crisp house dress on baking days and the 
fascinating affairs to cover her lovely new 
frocks at tea or dinner hour. Especially is 
the apron acceptable with pockets which hold 
all the little things—buttons, thread, darning 
cotton and small scissors—so that one may 
sit quietly without the tiresome jumping up 
and down. 

The children’s aprons make such pretty 
particular gifts, especially when embroidered 
in gay flowers, darling bunnies or little chicks. 
At church fairs and bazaars the apron table is 
always one of the most successful. It affords 
an opportunity to display taste and ingenuity 
at little cost to the giver. 

For the smart, simple house dresses there is 


even a wider range of material. In addition 
to those already mentioned cotton crepes, 
galateas, seersuckers and other washable ma¬ 
terials can be used most effectively. The 
same rules govern the choice of trimming and 
it is wise to remember that the smaller the 
article the brighter and more intense the 
color may be. Review combining colors in 
Lesson I and work out some color problems 
in house dresses. It is good practice. 

The most simple designs are the most 
pleasing, depending on the choice of ma¬ 
terial and edge finishings, which are usually in 
contrast to the material. I am giving you in 
the following paragraphs some simple finishes 
for edges which are especially appropriate for 
aprons and house dresses. They are also the 
most practical manner of finishing wash 
dresses and the summer cottons for the 


The most simple edges are the narrow hem, 
binding, piping, facing an edge with tape, 
finishing an edge with woven banding and 
with rickrack braid. 

Narrow Hem .—A narrow hem is one of the 
very easiest ways of finishing an edge. It is 


used to finish the sides and strings of aprons, 
armholes of waist linings and sometimes for 
hemming collars and cuffs. It is practical for 
anything which requires finishing in a neat, 
flat, inconspicuous manner. 

You will recall in Lesson I that I explained 
just how to turn a narrow hem with the sew¬ 
ing machine attachment and it may be help¬ 
ful to you to read that description over again 

If you are not using the attachment, first 
turn off the sixteenth of an inch along the edge, 

creasing the mate¬ 
rial between the fin¬ 
gers as in Fig. i, 
and then turn in an 
eighth of an inch. 
Press the edge with 
a hot iron. A hem 

Fig. I. Folding the edge for a narrow ^at is pressed is 

much easier to stitch 
than one that is 


roughly and irregularly creased . You cannot 
expect to have a neat finish if the edges 
are not neatly and accurately pressed before 
you stitch. Stitch the hem as in Fig. 2. 

Cutting True Bias .—Fold the material 
diagonally, bringing the crosswise thread to a 



lengthwise thread. Then, cut along the 
diagonal line. (See Fig. 3.) Join the bias 
strips in a continuous piece as in Fig. 4. 

Fig . 5 . The material folded and 
Fig. 2. A narrow hem marked for bias strips for binding 

turned and stitched or piping 

Cut off portion of seam which extends beyond 
strip as indicated by dotted lines. 

Binding .—The use of 
bindings adds very much 
to an apron or house dress, 
as the contrasting material 
brings out the color and 
design of the garment and also emphasizes the 
lines. The contrasted binding of the long 
lines of an apron or house dress will bring out 
an effect of slimness, whereas binding all the 
crossing lines such as pockets, belts and hems 
at the lower edge and around the neck will 
serve to shorten the appearance of the 



The binding to be effective should not only 
be of different color, design or material, but 
also of goods of a firm texture and yet not 
bulky. It is easier to round off a corner than to 
turn at right angles and bind a square corner. 
Binding is very quickly and neatly done with 
a binding attachment. (See Lesson I.) 

To do binding by hand y as a dressmaker would 
say , and which means without an attachment , lay 

the binding along the edge of the material 
with the right side of the binding next to the 
right side of the goods. (See Fig. 5.) Stitch 
along the edge, running the stitching one 
quarter of an inch from the edge. 

Fold the binding onto the wrong side of the 
material. (See Fig. 6.) Turn under the free 
edge of the binding one-fourth of an inch and 
[ 8 ] 


stitch the binding flat to the material. (See 
Fig. 7 *) 

If you turn the binding on the wrong side 
of the garment so that the edge comes below 
the edge of the fold on the right side of the 
garment, and then stitch from the right side 
of the garment just below the binding, the 

Fig. 6 . The binding turned the first time 

stitching will hardly show. (See Fig. 8.) If 
you want a very nice hand finish, fell the fold 
into place on the wrong side. 

Edges which are to be bound should have the 
seam allowance cut off . Binding neither adds 
to nor takes away from the size of the garment . 

Checked gingham makes a very delightful 
finish. An apron of barred white muslin can 


be much enhanced by a binding of delicate 
blue and white check. The one-color cham- 
brays, in the lovely gray blues, rose and other 
tones, are so attractive when edged with 
checks. White and even deeper shades of the 
same material are effective in the check. A 
touch of scarlet is sometimes desirable. A 
smart little percale of white dotted with dark 

Tig- 7 • The binding turned onto the wrong side and stitched 

blue and bound with cherry makes a charming 
and unique combination. 

Pipings .—Pipings are used in much the 
same places as binding. As a rule, they are 
much narrower and can also be used on woolen 
materials, as on cotton. They serve to brighten 
up garments which would be too dull and 
uninteresting if made all of one tone and ma¬ 
terial. Pipings are used not only for edges, 
but where the material joins together, such as 
1 io 1 


waist and skirt yokes, deep bands on skirts 
and any place where it is desirable to empha¬ 
size the joining. 

Pipings should be of firm material , which is 
easier to handle and which will retain its 
shape while stitching. They are cut on the 
bias in one and one-quarter inches width. 
As they are very narrow when finished they 
may be of a gay and vivid material. Brilliant 

Fig. 8. If the stitching is placed just below the binding on the right side 
of the garment it will hardly show 

red may pipe the edge of a blue chambray or 
striking green outline the edge of a gay 
figured chintz or cretonne with a colored back¬ 
ground. Colored pipings may be used most 
effectively on muslins and'organdies, especially 
the figured ones, and when edging an apron 
the color can be introduced in wider width 
on the ends of the strings. 

If the edge of the garment is to be piped , fold 
over one edge of piping a quarter of an inch 
and press. Turn back the other edge of the 


piping an eighth of an inch and stitch near 
this edge. (See Fig. 9.) Turn under the edge 

Fig. p. The bias fold turned and stitch for a -piping 

to be piped a seam’s width and press. Place 
the piping under this edge with the edge of 

Fig. 10. The piping pinned 
in place 

Fig. 11. As the piping looks on the 
right side of the garment when 
stitched in place 

the piping extending one-eighth of an inch 
beyond the piece. (See Fig. io.) Stitch from 


the right side of the garment near the edge. 
Fig. ii shows how the piping looks on the 
right side of the garment. 

Facings .—Another way to introduce nov¬ 
elty and color into these delightful aprons and 
frocks is the use of facings in varying widths. 
These are often used to finish the neck and 
sleeves of house dresses. The width is entirely 
a matter of choice, but facings are usually 
much wider than bindings and pipings. 

Fig. 12. The first stitching fin facing an edge 

Facings are used very often with only a 
small portion visible on the exterior and the 
wider portion beneath only revealed by the 
movements of the wearer. This is much em¬ 
ployed on dark blue and black garments in 
the facing of lower hems, of the edge of the 
bell-shaped sleeve and the elongated panels 
at either side. 


While a pretty width is one inch wide, which 
means cutting the material one and three- 
quarters wide, it may be much wider even for 
aprons. For instance, in an apron of muslin 
of the unbleached type with the creamy tone 
but somewhat finer texture, wide bands of 
flowered cretonne in lovely colors were so 

wide that the straps over the shoulders were 
entirely of the cretonne and only a little of 
the muslin showed above the band at the 

To face an edge lay the facing on the wrong 
side of the goods along the edge as shown in 
Fig. 12. Turn it onto the right side and fold 
under the edge and stitch as in Fig. 13. 



Finishing the Edge with Tape .—As a 
change from the made edgings, cotton tape 
about three-quarters of an inch wide makes an 
inexpensive finish for a house dress, apron or 
child’s frock. 

This tape can be bought at the notion 
counter of any department store in white, 

red and other colors, and is especially useful 
when the material of the article in making is 
not expensive enough to warrant the expendi¬ 
ture of much time. In fact, the cotton tape is 
one of the best “hurry up” edges you can use. 
You would naturally combine it with materials 
of firmer and heavier texture than the more 
dainty weaves. 



Lay the tape on the right side of the gar¬ 
ment along the edge, letting it extend a 
quarter of an inch beyond the edge. Stitch 
a seam’s width back from the edge of the gar¬ 
ment as shown in Fig. 14. Turn the tape onto 
the wrong side and stitch a second time from 

the right side of the goods as shown in 
Fig. 15. 

Finishing the Edge with Woven Band¬ 
ings .—The woven bandings in white with 
floral or other designs in color or with a colored 
ground with contrasting motives are most 
charming and lend distinction to otherwise 


plain clothes. They are suitable for house 
dresses, simple tub frocks, little children’s 
clothes, and even washable blouses and 
laundry bags, as well as the ever-present 

Here is a vast field for the display of ex¬ 
quisite taste which may result in a delicious 
rose design on a white ground edging with 
charm a delicate blue chambray or smart 
black and white appearing with green or rose 

Fig. 16. Finishing an edge with embroidered banding 

colored materials. Of course, a banding with 
a design is only suitable combined with a 
plain material or with one which has the de¬ 
sign so subdued and interwoven with the 
background that it has a neutral all-over 

To finish the edge with woven banding , cut off 
the seam allowance at the edge except an 



eighth of an inch. 
Lay the banding 

^ on the wrong side 
of the garment, al¬ 
lowing the edge of 
the banding to lap 
about one-eighth 

Fig. r 7 . The handing turned onto the ° f 311 inch OVer the 

right side and stitched the second time edge of the gar¬ 

ment and stitch as 

shown in Fig. 16. Turn the banding onto the 
right side of the goods and stitch a second time 
as shown in Fig. 17. 

Finishing the Edge with Rickrack 
Braid .—All the delightfully quaint old-fash¬ 
ioned finishings are coming into style again 
and one wonders where they are most charm¬ 
ing—whether they appear prettiest on the 
wee clothes or on the grown-up house gowns 
and protecting aprons. Rickrack ranks with 
the prettiest pipings and bindings and also 
with the cotton tape for quickness of appli¬ 
cation. It is seen not only on the sleeves, 
necks, belts and pockets, but on fronts and 
backs—in fact, wherever a band of material 
has been applied. 

Where the rickrack braid finishes an edge it 
is placed under the edge of the material with 
only half of it showing. (See Fig. 18.) To do 


this, place the braid on the right side of the 
goods near the edge and stitch through the 
center of the braid. (See Fig. 19.) Then 
turn it onto the wrong side, press the edge and 

Fig. 19. The braid placed 
for the first stitching 

Fig. 18. An edge finished 
with rickrack braid 

General Directions for Cutting .—Lay 
the material on a flat surface. Smooth out 
any wrinkles. Don’t cut just one piece at a 
time, as you may happen to need it for the 

Always lay all the pattern pieces on the goods 
before cutting any one piece . It will save goods. 
The pieces often can be shifted around and 
arranged to fit into a small amount of goods. 
In planning to cut any garment, place the 
largest pattern pieces on the goods first and 
then fit in the smaller pieces. 

As a general rule, center-front and center- 
back edges of the pattern are placed on the 
lengthwise of the goods and straight of the 
goods, which means parallel to the selvedge 
edges. Where the lower edges are straight 


they are placed usually as nearly on a 
true crosswise as possible, which means 
at right angles to the selvedge edges of 
the material. 

There are two ways of laying a pattern on 
the goods. The goods may be laid in a single 
thickness or folded double. When folded 
double, usually the selvedges are brought to¬ 
gether and the material is creased through 
the center lengthwise; although there are 
cases where it is advantageous to fold it 

it may even happen that material can be 
saved by folding over only a third, a quarter 
or less on the lengthwise, leaving the rest in a 
single thickness. 

In spreading out the material in a single 
thickness or in folding it double, keep the 
wrong side uppermost. It is by far the best 
plan, when possible, to lay the pattern on the 
wrong side of the goods. Then you can 
mark on the goods without danger of injuring 
the fabric, except in cases of very sheer 

Although it is possible to pin a tissue paper 
pattern to the goods and then cut the piece, 
it is better to weigh down any pattern and 
[ 20] 


mark around it. Use or¬ 
dinary paper weights and 
mark with tailor’s wax 
or chalk spoken of in 
Lesson I. Keep the wax 
or chalk shaved down to F 3' 20 ' 

thin on the edge and hold tt 

a thin edge. Be very sure firmly in marking around the 
to mark along the exact fatUrn 

edge of the pattern and hold the wax or chalk 
as in Fig. 20. 

In the dressmaking trade, when all the pat¬ 
tern pieces are laid on the goods, it is called 
a layout. Throughout these lessons you will 
find the process of laying the pattern on the 
goods spoken of as laying out the pattern and 
the pattern laid on the goods as a layout . 

Making a Waistline Apron Pattern .—It 

is hardly necessary to make a pattern for a 
garment so simple as a waistline apron. 
However, a pattern proves a great conven¬ 
ience, if you are cutting more than one apron, 
as it saves figuring out the proportions each 
time. Making the pattern will give you 
excellent practice and will show you how to 
slope the waistline, which information you 
can use later many times in various ways. 

To make the pattern draw a straight line 
similar to the line AB in Fig. 21, using your 
[21 ] 


/D yardstick or tailor’s square. 
This line should measure 
twenty-seven inches. Draw 
the lines AD and BC at 
right angles to the AB line. 
Each of these lines should 
measure eighteen inches. 
Mark at point E> one inch 
below point A and reslope 
the waistline as indicated 
^ by the dotted lines. 

wonTmlrn To slo P e the % waistline, 
draw a line at right angles 
from point E , as dotted line marked EF 
in Fig. 22. Three inches out on this line 

Fig. 22. Diagram for sloping the top of the apron 

mark F . From the point of F blend a 
curve to the upper edge. This will give an 
even run to the waistline which will make 


the apron hang nicely. Line AB is the 
center front which is laid on the fold of the 

Fig. 23. A straight line at the top of an apron 
or skirt makes a poor fit 

If this seems a bit of trouble to have a 
simple apron hang smoothly, look at the dia¬ 
gram in Fig. 23, where the straight line was 

Fig. 24 . If the line at the top of the apron pat¬ 
tern is straight , the material will V at the center 
front when cut 

drawn from point E to the upper edge repre¬ 
sented by D in Fig. 21. When the material 
is cut it will V down in front as in Fig. 24, 


which will cause the apron to hike up in front 
when worn, as shown in Fig. 25. 

To make a pattern for the waistband . (See 
Fig. 26.) AB represents the center front. 
A Draw a straight line from 

N | | A to B measuring two 

c and three-quarter inches. 

Then draw two lines from 
Fig. 26. Tht pattern for the and g measuring nine 

waistband inches each at right angles 

to the AB line. Join by line measuring two and 
three-quarter inches at right angles which cor¬ 
responds to AB line. Look at line C on 

To make a pattern for the strings , Fig. 27.— 
Draw a line from A to B measuring three 
inches. AB represents as before the center 
front. Draw two straight lines measuring 

Fig. 27. The pattern for the string 

twenty-four inches at right angles to AB line. 
Draw connecting line at right angles, measur¬ 
ing three inches and corresponding to AB 
line: line C, Fig. 27. 



Fig. 25. If the top of an apron is cut 
in an abrupt angle , the apron will hike 
when it is sewed to the band 



To make a pattern tor a pocket .—Draw the 
ABCD box, Fig. 28, as the first step, com¬ 
mencing with the 
line AB and then 
making the cross 
lines AD and BC and 
finishing with the CD 
line. Be sure that 
the lines are at right 
angles, otherwise the 
pocket will be askew. 
From A to Bis, eight 
inches and measure 
the same number of 
inches from C to Z). 
The lines from A to 
D and from B to C 
measure five inches. Measure two inches 
above point B and mark E. Then, measure 
two inches above point C and mark F . (See 
Fig. 28.) Draw lines from the points E and F 
to the centerway point between B and C. 

Always make your patterns without seam al - 
lowanct ?, as it is much easier to see the shape 
of the finished piece. The seam allowance is 
added afterwards as in the dotted lines in 
Fig. 28. These dotted lines can be put on 
with a two-wheel tracer or marked with a 


Allow an inch and three-eighths at the 
top of the pocket for a hem. The seam allow¬ 
ance is usually three-eighths of an inch. 
Carrying out this plan of adding the seam 
allowance after the pattern is made permits 
you to see the pocket in its finished shape and 
makes it easy to vary the size according to 

Fig. 2 qA. In laying a pattern on the goods t place the largest pieces on 
first and then fit in the small pieces 

your taste. Frequently the novelty in the 
cut or trimming of the pocket is what adds 
the style to the apron. 

Cutting a Plain Waistline Apron . —Dia¬ 
gram 29A shows the plain waistline apron 
pattern laid on a single thickness of the goods. 
As only one-half of a pattern is usually given, 
it is necessary when laying the pattern on a 


single thickness of the goods, to turn over 
each piece and mark around it the second time. 

In diagram 29A the solid lines indicate the 
first placing of the pattern and the dotted 
lines the position of the pieces when they are 
turned over. Diagram 29A also illustrates 
how to mark for a piecing. If your pattern 
extends beyond the edge of the material, as 
indicated by the dotted lines ABCD , Diagram 
29A, mark where the selvedge edge comes on 
the pattern as line EF , Fig. 29B, and a second 
line three-fourths of an inch in from it as the 
line GH y Fig. 29B. The three-fourths of an 

/// 77 ////A 





Fig. 29B. The proper way to allow for piecing 

inch is for seams. Place this portion of the 
pattern on the goods. (See portion marked 
piecing in Diagram 29A.) 

To Make a Plain Waistline Apron .—Join 

the piecing to the apron with a plain seam if 
the edges are selvedge. However, if either of 
the edges is raw, make a French seam. You 
will remember that the making of different 
seams was explained in Lesson I. 



The next step in finishing the apron is 
hemming the sides. Here is a place where you 
can bring your sewing machine attachment in 
play. A narrow hemmer will turn the edge, 
neatly and quickly. Lesson I tells all about 
using this attachment. 

Fig. 30. Turning the hem 
at the bottom of the apron 

If you are not using an attachment, turn 
and stitch a narrow hem 
as described in the first 
part of this lesson. 

At the bottom of the 
apron turn a three-inch 
hem. To form a hem of 
this type, fold under a 
seam's width, three-eighths of an inch on the 
lower edge and press the edge. Then, turn 
up three inches, using your ruler to measure. 
Press the hem. Pin it at inter¬ 
vals about three inches apart 
and stitch as in Fig. 30. 

Determine the center front of 
the apron by folding it as shown 
in Fig. 31. Mark the center 
front by cutting a straight slash 
at the top one - fourth inch 
deep. A slash of this descrip¬ 
tion is better than a notch , for it will not fray . 

Fig. 31. To de¬ 
termine the center 
front fold the 
apron as shown 

Run gather threads across the top. To keep 


the fullness equally distributed use two threads , 
starting the threads at 
the center front and run¬ 
ning them to the sides of 
the apron. Use a double 
thread for each gathering 
. , and run it in with running 

thread. stitches. (See Fig. 32.) 

Use ample thread so that 
an end will hang down beyond the side of the 
apron and there will be no danger of it pulling 

Determine the center front of the waist¬ 
band by folding it crosswise. Cut one-fourth 
inch slashes in the top and bottom of waist¬ 
band at the center front. Lay the waistband 
along the top of the 
apron, placing it on 
the wrong side of the 
apron. Keep the 
center fronts even 
and draw up the 
gather threads until 
the top of the apron 
is the desired size. 

Distribute the full¬ 
ness evenly. The ends of the waistband 
should extend a seam’s width beyond the 
sides of the apron to give room to finish 

Fig. 33. The first stitching in join¬ 
ing the waistband to the top of the 


them. Stitch across the top of the apron. 
(See Fig. 33.) 

Turn a narrow hem on the sides of the 
strings and wider hems at the bottoms. Lay 
the unfinished ends in pleats as in Fig. 34 and 

Fig. 34. The string pleated and 
ready to attach 

Fig. 35 . The string stitched in 

stitch these ends to the ends of the waistband. 
(See Fig. 35.) Note that the strings extend 
only halfway across the waistband. ‘Turn 

Fig. 36. The waistband folded and 
stitched the second time 

back the free edges of the waistband a seam’s 
width and press. Then, crease the waistband 
through the center and stitch down the sides 


and across the bot¬ 
tom as in Fig. 36. 

Make a one-inch 
hem at top of 
pocket. To do 
H away with unneces¬ 
sary bulky cut off 
the corners diag¬ 
onally. But be 
sure not to cut 
off too much. The 
safest way is to 
mark the seam al¬ 
lowance and then 
cut to within one- 
fourth of an inch of the finished corner. (See 
Fig* 37*) Dotted lines AB indicate seam 
allowances, and lines CD, EF and GH mark 
portions to be cut off. Turn under seams at 
sides and bottom and press. The Fig. 38 
shows the proper way to turn seam at corner. 

Pin the pocket in a convenient position. 
It should be high enough so the wearer's 
hand can be slipped in without leaning down. 
Stitch the pocket as shown in Fig. 39. The 
Fig. 40 shows the apron finished. 

Making a Pattern for a Slip-on Apron. 

—Make the box ABCD first (see Fig. 41), 


carefully drawing straight lines at right angles 
to each other and commencing with the AB 
line as the first one. From A to C measures 
seventy-two inches and the cross lines from 
A to B from C to D measure fourteen inches. 
Now measure seventy-two inches from B to 

Fig. 38. Turning the seam at the Fig. 39. The pocket stitched 
corner of the pocket to the apron 

D and the box is completed. Then draw line 
across the center and mark E and F which 
will give the center of the shoulders. (See 
Fig. 41.) 

Next measure five inches from C on the 
cross line CD and mark G. Measure eleven 
inches upward from D on the BD line and 
mark H. Measure fourteen inches down- 
[ 33 ] 


Fig. 40. The waistline apron finished 

ward from F on the BD line and mark /. 
This will locate the points on the front. 
Starting again at the F point measure four¬ 
teen inches upward and mark /. Measure 
eleven inches from the B point and mark K . 
Then measure five inches from A on the cross 
[ 34 ] 



line AB and mark V and you have marked 
the points on the back. Measure five inches 
from F on the center line FE and mark M. 

To determine the depth of the low neck at 
the back measure three inches upward from 
point E on the AC line and mark Q . For the 
depth at the front measure seven inches down¬ 
ward on the AC line from point E and mark 
0 . For the width of the neck measure three 
inches afcross from O on a line drawn at right 
angles to the AC line and mark the end N. 
Draw a similar line measuring three inches 
across from Q and at right angles to line AC 
and mark the end P. Then draw a con¬ 
necting line from N to P . (See dotted lines 
in Fig. 41.) 

Using the curved ruler draw in curves from 
point M to I, and from I curving in and out to 
H and rounding a curve 
from H to G following the 
dotted lines as shown in 
box in Fig. 41. This gives 
the curved front of the 
apron. To exactly duplicate 
the curves in the back put a 
piece of paper under the 
diagram and trace the outer 
edge with the tracing wheel. 

Fig. 42. The proper way of 
holding a tracing wheel 


Fig. 42 will show you the correct position of 
the tracing wheel. Remove the piece of paper 
underneath and cut along its curved edge. 
Use this as a guide in marking the curves of 
the back edge. See Fig. 43. 

After the square lines are marked for the 
neck it is an easy matter to fill in the curved 
outline as shown in Fig. 44. In making this 
curved line, be sure that it is in a true contin- 
[ 37 ] 


Fig. 46. A neck that is intended to be oval ought not to have an abrupt 
angle at the shoulder 

uous curve with no abrupt jogs at a different 
angle in any place. Fig. 44 shows the grace 
of a well-drawn curve for the neck while Fig. 
45 shows a badly done line with an abrupt jog 
at the shoulders and a dip in the front. If the 
lines of Fig. 45 are followed the garment will 


have a homely and unbecoming neckline as 
shown in Fig. 46. 

To make the pattern of the pocket which ex¬ 
tends across the front, draw lines on the apron 

just where you want to place the finished 
pocket, commencing with the line AB as in 
Fig. 47. Place the apron pattern on a larger 
piece of paper. As the pocket should stand 
away a little at the top from the apron so that 
[ 39 ] 


the hand can be slipped in easily, mark a 
point one-half inch beyond the end of the 
line marked A and mark this point C. (See 
Fig. 48.) Slip a small piece of paper under the 
apron pattern and trace along the curved edge 
between lines A and B. Remove this piece of 
paper and cut along the curved lines, so that 
this may be used as a guide in marking the 
edge of the pocket from line B to point C. 
The edge of the pocket must curve exactly the 
same as the side of the apron pattern, as it is 
to be sewn along this edge. Trace across the 
lines A and B and mark along the front edge. 
At outer edge mark along edge of cut-out piece 
from line B to point C. (See Fig. 48.) 

Fig . 49. The slip-on apron pattern placed on the lengthwise fold of the 

Cutting a Slip-on Apron .—The Fig. 49 
shows the pattern placed on the material. 
In this case, the goods is folded lengthwise 
through the center and the center front and 
center back of the pattern are placed on the 
fold of the goods. As the two thicknesses 
are cut at one time, it is not necessary to turn 
the pattern over and mark around it the 


Fig. 50. A convenient work apron of black sateen trimmed with a 
binding of old rose sateen 

second time, as was described in cutting the 
waistline apron. 

In laying out a pattern it is often advisable 
to try it both on the single thickness and double 



of the goods to see which way it will cut to the 
best advantage. 

Mark and cut out the pieces as described 
in the General Cutting Directions in the first 
part of this lesson. 

To Make the Slip-on Apron .—One of the 
easiest ways of finishing the neck and outer 
edges is by binding. In the case of the apron 
shown in Fig. 50, the neck, the outer edges 
and the top of the pocket are bound. 

Fig. Si. Sewing the 
■pocket to the apron 

Fig. 52. Sew around 
the neck to prevent it 
from stretching 

You cannot use straight binding on curved 
edges. It will pucker. See directions for 
binding edges in the first part of this lesson. 

Bind the top of the pocket first. Turn 
under the lower edge of the pocket a seam's 
width and press. Then, place the pocket on 
the front of the apron, keeping the outer 


edges even. Baste it along the sides and 
stitch across the bottom and through center. 
(See Fig. 51.) A pocket of this type should 
always be a little larger at the top than the 
apron, so that it bulges away from the apron 
and gives room for putting in the hand 

Run a thread around the neck as in Fig. 52 
to prevent stretching. Bind neck and outer 
edges of apron. 

Fig. 53 . A bound buttonhole that is finished with a single 
piece of material is stronger than one with two bindings 

Make bound buttonholes in front of apron 
at underarm. 

To make a bound buttonhole that is strong, 
face it with one piece of material. Mark 
where the buttonhole is to be placed on the 
right or face side of the material. Cover the 
[ 43 ] 


mark with a facing piece, cut to extend one- 
half inch beyond the mark at all points. Mark 
the buttonhole on the facing piece. Stitch 
either side of the mark, and square across the 
ends, running the stitching one-eighth of an 
inch from the mark at all points. Slash cen¬ 
terway between the stitchings to within one- 
eighth of an inch of the ends. From these 
points slash diagonally to the corners. (See 

Fig. 54. The facing turned onto the wrong 
side of the buttonhole 

Fig- S3-) Turn the facing through the slash 
onto the wrong side. At the ends of the 
buttonhole the facing will fall into two small 
pleats. Stitch across the ends of the button¬ 
hole again, stitching the facing to the tri¬ 
angular portion which was formed by slashing 
diagonally to the corners. (See Fig. 54.) 



Turn under the raw edges of the facing, baste 
it in place and, working from the right side 
of the goods, stitch around the buttonhole 
again. (See Fig. 55.) 

For basting use long and short running 
stitches. The Fig. 56 shows the most practical 
way of sewing the buttons to the back. Use 
a fine needle. After taking seven or eight 
stitches in each hole, bring the needle out 
between the button and goods. Wrap the 
thread around the button several times. Pass 

Fig. 55. The finished buttonhole as 
it looks on the right side of the garment 

the needle through onto the wrong side of the 
goods and secure the thread with several over- 
and-over stitches. 

Using a Block Pattern to Make a 
Bungalow Apron —Later on I shall tell you 
how to make a complete pattern, but every 
dressmaker or woman who sews ought to 
[45 1 


know how to use a 
block pattern. It is 
really so very much 
easier and quicker than 
starting at the very 
foundation and build¬ 
ing up a whole pattern. 
Block patterns are used 
in all the best class 
dressmaking establish¬ 
ments and factories and 
Fig. 56. A button sewed on with every woman wants to 

crossed stitches . 11 ^1 1 

know all the short cuts 
and time-saving devices when she is sewing at 

A block pattern is a plain waist pattern 
without hem or seam allowances at any point. 
It is cut in high round neck style to the base 
of the neck. Such a pattern can be used as a 
foundation in making various types of gar¬ 
ments such as smocks and blouses, undergar¬ 
ments, chemise dresses, afternoon costumes, 
and even the most decollete evening gown, as 
it is simply a matter of adjusting to the varia¬ 
tions of the fashion to be copied. 

The most exclusive establishments have 
block patterns in all of the standard sizes. 
One of the most successful importers of French 



models revealed her secret by saying that she 
always carried her foundation linings which 
were made from the block patterns overseas 
to Paris, where the creations were built up on 
them. She had found many points of differ¬ 
ence between the American and the French 

These block patterns are copied in the 
standard sizes on heavy paper which is stout 
enough to withstand much handling. If you 
have a plain well-fitting blouse it would serve 
as a pattern from which to copy your block 
pattern in heavy paper. You will find all the 
details for making a blouse pattern given 
further on in the course. 

To use your blouse pattern as a block pattern 
in making an apron as shown in Fig. 57, draw 
a straight line as AB . Lay the waist pattern 
with the center front and the center back 
along this line, with the edges just touching 
at the shoulder. Draw a line at right angles 
to the line AB that will touch the point where 
the patterns meet at the shoulder and mark 

To determine the length of the kimono sleeve 
measure from the base of the neck along the 
top of the arm as in Fig. 58. Measure the 
same number of inches on the CD line, starting 
[ 47 ] 


at the line AB 
and mark a point 
F. From this 
point draw lines 
at right angles 
and mark J and 
H. Draw lines 
at right angles 
from the end of 
the line JH that 
will touch the 
bottom of the 
armhole where 
the points are 
marked G and I. 
This gives you 
the outline of the 
kimono sleeve. 
(See Fig. 57.) 

Fig. $7. Using a block waist pattern to draft Deter Ill i n e 

a kimono-sleeved house dress hoW long yOU 

want the apron 
to be by measuring on the person for 
whom you are making it, starting at the 
base of the neck in front and carrying the 
measure down as far as necessary. Measure 
the same number of inches along the AB line, 
starting at the upper edge of the front of the 
waist pattern and mark point B. This will give 



you the length in front 
on the extended AB line. 
(See Fig. 59.) 

To determine the width 
at the bottom draw a 
line at right angles to 
line AB , starting at point 
B. To find the end of the 
line divide the number of 
inches required for the 
bottom of the apron by 
four and measure this 
number of inches from 
point B and mark K . An 
apron of this type ought 
to measure sixty inches 
at the bottom for a wo¬ 
man with a thirty-six- 
inch bust measure. Add 
four inches to the width 
for each increase in size 
of the bust measure. If 
the skirt of this apron is 
to measure sixty inches, 
point K would be fifteen 
inches from point B . 
Draw a line from the 
underarm at point G to 
point K. Mark an inch 
[ 49 ] 


Fig. 58. Measuring for the length of the sleeve 

and a half above K a point with L. Curve the 
lower edge from L to about halfway between 
B and K. (See Fig. 59.) 

Measure from the neck bone at the back to 
determine how long you want the apron at 
the center back. Measure the same number 
of inches on the AB line, starting from the 
upper edge of the back of the waist pattern 


and extending the AB line as required and 
mark this point N. 

Draw a line at right angles to line AB , 
starting at point N> which measures a quarter 
of the width of the lower edge of the apron 
and mark point 0 . (See Fig. 59.) 

If the dress or apron is to be ironed flat, the 
front and back must be of the same width. 
Measure from point H to point G and measure 
the same number of inches on line I /, starting 
from point J and mark a new point M. (See 
Fig. S9-) Draw a line from point M to point 
0 . Measure from point G to point L and 
apply this measure on the line MO. From 
this point curve a line to the lower edge 
in the back midway between O and N as in 
Fig. 59 - 

Decide how low you want the neck in front 
and back and how wide, and draw dotted 
lines as 1, 2, 3, 4, in Fig. 60. To determine 
these measures it may be helpful if you refer 
to Fig. 41 and reread the paragraph on the 
subject under “Making a Slip-on Apron/ 5 

If a kimono sleeve is cut with an abrupt angle 
at the underarm it will rip out easily or tear the 
goods. Fill in the underarm in the pattern with 
a curve as shown by lines 5 and 6 in Fig. 60. 



While a kimono sleeve is one of the easiest 
to make, there are little points to consider and 
observe which make it well fitting and grace- 

Fig. 60. Shaping the neck and underarm 
seams of the pattern 

ful. This sleeve pattern just described makes 
a kimono sleeve which is cut straight out from 
the shoulder. The extra material at the top 
of the shoulder where the edges of the waist 


pattern spread apart will crush down under 
the arm when the garment is on (see Fig. 61), 
and therefore is prettier when made of light¬ 
weight material rather than that which is 
bulky and thick. When the arm is put out 
[S 3 1 


Fig. 62. The garment is smooth when the arm is straight out 

straight the garment is smooth, which of 
course makes it very easy to iron and a com¬ 
fortable garment to work in. (See Fig. 62.) 

Giving the Kimono Sleeve a Better Fit . 

■—If you want a kimono sleeve which is some- 



what fitted a seam can be made on the shoulder 
as in Fig. 63. For instance, after you have 
your foundation lines drawn in for the kimono 
sleeve shown in 

Fig. 57 , mark 

points 1 and 2 an 
inch from point 
F on the outer 
edge of the sleeve 
as in Fig. 63. 

Draw lines from 
these points 
which will touch 
the neck edge of 
the waist at 
point E . Con¬ 
tinue these lines 
beyond the outer 
edge of the 
sleeve. To give 
a good line to 
the bottom of 
the sleeve, the 
edge must be at 

right angles to the shoulder seam. Therefore, 
draw a line at right angles to line l-E which 
touches the lower corner of the sleeve. This 
gives you a new outline for the front of the 
sleeve. Reslope the outer edge of the back of 

Fig. 63. Diagram for kimono-sleeved pattern 
having a seam on the shoulder 


the sleeve in the same way. (See Fig. 63.) 
Draw the lower part of the dress or apron as 
described before. Lay the diagram of the 
front pattern on another piece of paper and 
make an allowance for all seams. Remove the 
paper and cut out the front pattern. Then, 
place another piece of paper under the diagram 
of the back pattern, allow for seams and cut 
out the back pattern. 

One of the advantages of a seam on the 
shoulder of a kimono sleeve is that the back 
and front patterns need not be same measure, 
and this will be more becoming to the woman 
with the plump figure, as it will allow for more 
ease over the bust. This pattern is practical 
for all types of dresses and can be used as the 
foundation of an infinite variety of charming 
garments. Exactly the same principles can be 
applied in making children’s clothes. One 
point of caution is worthy of mention: if too 
much material is taken out of the sleeve at the 
top of the armhole the arm cannot be lifted 
easily , and when lifted will drag all the material 
up the side from the lower hem, which is most 
unattractive in appearance, and if it is of deli¬ 
cate texture will soon stretch out of shape. 

How to Make a Narrower Kimono 
Sleeve .—Place the waist pattern as described 


before on the 
ABYmt. Square 
the line at the 
center of the 
shoulder and 
also draw lines 
at right angles 
from line AB 
which will 
touch the lower 
edge of the arm¬ 
holes in front 
and back and 
mark i, 2 and 3, 

4. Square a line 
from the bottom 
of the armhole 
in front at point 
2 to touch the 
line 3-4. Meas¬ 
ure in from the outer edge on line 2-4 and 
mark points 5 and 6. Mark the depth of the 
sleeve at point F and starting at F draw lines 
at right angles to CD line. From this new 
line which is the outer edge of the sleeve draw 
lines at right angles to line 2-4, which will 
touch points 5 and 6. (See Fig. 64.) From 
points 5 and 6 draw lines to the edge of the 
garment as already described. This gives a 

Fig. 64. It is possible to make the sleeve 
size of the pattern smaller. 


smaller sleeve. After you have these founda¬ 
tion lines you can add the seam at the shoulder 
and take out some of the fullness at the top 
of the shoulder as in Fig. 63. 

To thoroughly master the subject you should 
make at least four or five of each diagram . It 
is an excellent idea to continue making the 
diagrams until you can successfully accom¬ 
plish one of every kind without referring to 
the lesson. Once you thoroughly understand 
the art of these diagrams, you will find that 
the keynote to many successes lies within 
them and that you can copy any kimono¬ 
sleeved garment applying these principles. 

How to Make a Bungalow Apron .—To 

make this protecting and smart little over- 
garment shown in Fig. 65, cut according to the 
general directions given in earlier part of this 
lesson and finish with French or open seams 
as described in Lesson I. A bias facing makes 
a pretty finish at the neck edge, so refer to 
bias facings under that heading in the first 
part of this lesson. This gives an opportunity 
to use the newly popular checked ginghams 
or striped goods which have such a smart 
effect. The facing also decorates the pocket, 
makes the belt and edges the sleeves. 

When you want to miter a corner which is 
[ 58 ] 


Fig. 65. A kimono-sleeved house dress is easy to slip on and easy to iron 

necessary in all square necks and other square 
openings or right-angle turns, study Fig. 66. 
This mitering is done by folding out a dart 
and basting it at the corner. When the facing 
is turned on the right side it appears as in 
[ 59 ] 


Fig. 67. Where the facing joins in the back 
make a bias seam as in Fig. 68. 

Finish the lower edge of the skirt as the 
lower edge of the waistline apron was hemmed. 
The sash would be finished with a narrow hem 

Fig. 66 

Fig. 67 

Fig. 68 

and the ends hemmed or faced with the 
decorative bias facing. 

Using a Commercial Pattern .—It is im¬ 
portant that you have a clear idea what you 
are going to make, before you start cutting 
or sewing. Read carefully the directions 
printed on the pattern envelope. Examine the 
pattern itself. Know what each piece is and 
why the perforations and notches are there 
before cutting. 



If the pattern is one you intend using over 
and over, it will pay you to duplicate it in stiff 
paper. Wrapping paper will do. Iron out 
all the wrinkles in the tissue paper pattern, 
using an iron that is warm, not hot. Then 
lay each piece of the tissue paper pattern on 
the wrapping paper. Weigh down the pieces 
with paper weights and trace around the edges 
with a tracing wheel, being very careful to 
follow exactly the outline of the tissue paper 

After tracing around each pattern piece, 
remove the tissue paper pattern. Mark over 
the traced lines with a pencil, as a pencil line 
is much easier to follow in cutting than a 
traced line. Where the edge is a straight line, 
lay a ruler and draw the line with a pencil. 
In penciling over the curved edges, use your 
curved ruler and the traced lines as a guide. 
Use sharp shears to cut the new pattern. 
Cut just inside the marks; that is, cut the 
marks off. You will remember that the marks 
were placed just beyond the edge of the tissue 
paper pattern, and you want the new pattern 
to be the exact size of the old. A stiff paper 
pattern of this description is much easier to 
handle than a flimsy tissue paper one. 

[ 61 ] 



Again I want to remind you how to study, 
which is so important for you to gain the full 
benefit of these lessons. Read one subject at 
a time. Read it over carefully at least once 
more, perhaps several times. Then lay aside 
the book and review the subject in your mind 
to see if you understand it clearly. If there is 
anything which seems vague or puzzles you, 
look up that point and again review the 
subject without the book. 


Here are some test questions to enable you 
to see what progress you are making in your 
study. Go over them carefully and write out 
the answers to each one and then compare 
your written answers with the book to see if 
they are correct. 

How much seam allowance do you plan 
when an edge is to be bound? 

Is it necessary to finish an edge before 
putting on rickrack braid? 

How do you make a waistline apron hang 

How do you allow for a piecing in laying 
the pattern on the goods? 



How do you cut a pretty neckline ? 

How do you make a pocket stand away 
from the material? 

What is the foundation of a block pattern ? 

How do you make a kimono sleeve smaller ? 

How do you find the length of an apron or 
dress in the front and back? 

How do you know what width to allow for 
the bottom of skirt or apron? 

All the detailed information in this Lesson II 
can be used over and over again in making 
garments of all kinds. The directions for 
edges and mitered corners, for the making of 
pockets, waistbands and strings, for finding 
the individual lengths of aprons and dresses 
and depths of the neckline in front and back, 
the sloping of the top of the aprons and hems, 
with the block patterns and kimono sleeves, 
are used in some way in almost every garment. 
And now that the secrets of the foundation 
pattern and use of blocks patterns are revealed 
to you and the main points of finishing edges, 
necks and hems, you are ready to see garments 
with a larger vision and a more understanding 
eye, so that articles which have seemed in¬ 
tricate and far beyond your skill in the shops 
and magazines will wear a very different 
air when you know how to copy them. 



The following book, Lesson III, will be on 
the fascinating subject of undergarments, 
and you will readily see, as you study this 
lesson, how much of Lesson II applies on the 
new one. You will find that you can easily 
make your nightdresses and chemises from 
your block pattern, and the finishing edges 
will be used many times in making these 
dainty and individual garments. 

16 4 ]